BBC Project – Interludes and thoughts…

My Hartnell TARDIS console room, rendered up, made grainy, and black and white. This was amongst the stuff we sent to Phil Balaam.

Initial posting giving an overview of the project history here.

For previous parts in this series, go here.

Nothing majorly relevant to the project here.  This is just a brief general rundown of a couple of things whizzing about in my head.

As you can see if you’ve read Part 2 of the bible, I favoured a very traditional approach to the basic series format.

After Russell T. Davies’ first season came out and was resoundingly fast and modern, I thought that yeah, I was so wrong.

But now, seven years down the track, I’m less convinced. Continue reading

BBC Project – Doctor Who Animated Series Bible – Part 2

One of my renders to give an idea of scale for the spacecraft in “Waltzing to Elysium”

Initial posting giving an overview of the project history here.

Looking through some of the emails last night, just goes to show that I’m glad I kept them because looks like I’d heard a rumour that the Doctor Who series was being produced a few days before it was announced.  I had completely forgotten about this.

Found an email from Cliff referring to it and him being surprised I hadn’t said anything to him, with me replying that I wanted to wait until I heard something more concrete before mentioning it.  There had been so many, “Doctor Who is coming back!” rumours that had never panned out, and even though this came from a fabulous source, I’d always rather be cautious.

Plus, from what I’d heard, formal announcement wasn’t going to be until Jan 2004, so there was meant to be plenty of time.  Obviously it got pushed forward, probably because the BBC knew otherwise it would get leaked and they wanted to make sure they controlled the release.  I mean hell, I’d heard about it!

The thing that surprises me is this was in late September of 2003, and we weren’t killed off until November, and even then, the main reason seems to have been the previously mentioned budget stuff that killed the BBC Wales R&D Department.  I’m surprised it took that long, and that we were collateral damage rather than an actual target.

Not that I think we were all big and important, but that I would have thought anyone developing something that could potentially damage the new brand would have been dealt with immediately.  Then again, it’s a bureaucracy.  We had a drama meeting in October 2003 to decide whether or not we’d go ahead.

I was thinking that, as I go through emails, I’ll go back and re-edit posts where appropriate to correct errors and omissions. Would people prefer that, or would you rather I left the original inaccurate text and instead added footnotes and/or an errata sheet at the end of all this?  Let me know.

You will be able to find all the posts on this topic here.
Anyway, here is part 2 of the bible.  In this bit I discussed the possible formats, weighing up the pros and cons.

Continue reading

BBC Project – Doctor Who Animated Series Bible – Part 1

A single frame of a test animation I did to show how such a shot might look. The background is a nebula.

Initial posting giving an overview of the project history here.

Continuing on from the initial post I present the first bit of the Doctor Who animated series bible for BBC Wales R&D Department.  I’ll split this stuff up over a number of posts because there is rather a lot of it.  As with yesterday, I won’t be re-editing it, so the grammar and spelling errors are all from the original document.

This first bit is the general introduction and character outline. I finished the whole bible on 19th January, 2003.  Phil Balaam was pretty happy with it and the rest of the work the team gave him – sketches and renders all showing that we were serious about the work.

The reason I haven’t named some of the other members of the team so far is that I need to check back through my emails – basically I don’t want to miss anyone out.  I will hopefully provide a full list in the next few days, then go back and edit the first post to add them in.

I was a bit upset yesterday to discover that the copies of the incoming emails on this PC have become corrupted. However I have other copies of the directory burnt to at least a couple of CDs, because natually I never wanted to lose this stuff, so hopefully I should still have all that correspondence.  Plus, I do still have all my outgoing emails, complete with quoted text of what I was replying to.  So worst case, I’ve got half the info, but I should have it all, it’s just a matter of finding it.

And naturally some of the others will have stuff, too.  And Cliff Bowman, being at the centre of the project and managing it, hopefully has all of it!  Imagine what a great guest he would make! (hint hint)

Continue reading

BBC Project – Doctor Who – The Animated Series That Never Was…

Very early stylistic lighting test done by yours truly. That ugly Doctor character in the foreground was later made much more visually palatable. Original image rendered 12/01/2003

Today, I reached a decision.

I want Cliff Bowman to be recognised by Doctor Who fandom for the part he played in a largely unwritten bit of DW history – The 3D animated series of Doctor Who.

I was also a part of this, as were several other folks, but Cliff was at the centre of it. None of us would have had the opportunity to work on it without him, it will always be one of the high points of my life, and I think he deserves the recognition.

Ideally, I’d like to him be made a guest at a major DW event next year.  I think it’s fitting.

The push starts here. He, at the time of writing, knows nothing about it. Please help get the word out. If I get a good response, I will slowly post up other things I contributed to the project. If I get permission from some of the other contributors, I’ll put up their stuff too.

I won’t claim that the dates and such below are completely 100% accurate, as I’m having to work partially from memory and I may have one or two things in the wrong order, but it’s essentially right.

Continue reading

It’s not the size, it’s how you use it.


(Contains major spoilers for Lexx season two, Spider-Man 2, Superman the Movie, and minor spoilers for Alien, Aliens, Die Hard and Die Hard 4, and both versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Has a swear word.

May contain traces of nuts.)

One of the issues I’m having an increasing problem with is size. Movies and television are both guilty, and I’m just a bit over it.

Once the scale of a thing exceeds a certain level, it’s hard to maintain a comfortable suspension of disbelief. Now that doesn’t have to just be about physical size, it can be able the scale of a concept, or the way the action or drama is built.

Hollywood doesn’t seem to quite get this, and by way of example I’ll pull out one of the many, many pointless remakes. The one I’m thinking of is The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Keanu Reeves. Let’s forget about all the ways in which it’s emotionally wrong, and the way they stuffed up Klaatu’s character, and simply look at Gort.  Continue reading